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15 - Meteorology of Form

from Love Letters to the Planet

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2022

Adeline Johns-Putra
Affiliation:
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China
Kelly Sultzbach
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
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Summary

This study looks at fiction based in Australia, one of many places severely affected by anthropogenic global warming in the Global South. Texts chosen for this chapter (Xavier Herbert’s Capricornia (1939), Gabrielle Lord’s Salt (1990), Ellen Van Neerven’s Heat and Light (2014)) understand aspects of global warming as ‘simultaneously real, discursive, and social’, but also as spaces within the larger arc of climatic history that might incorporate sensitivity to non-human agency as felt in Oceania. This chapter incorporates flashes of fictocriticism to integrate the component of animacy that seeks out affective intensities that pass through and between human and non-human bodies. This genre permits writers to foreground personal meditations on the ongoing experiencing of climate catastrophe, and it discloses a space for dialogue between scholarly abstractions and personal ones. The unfolding cultural story that comes from these impulses is one of witness and embodiment that portends representations of climate as an intra-active being.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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